Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cruising Becomes Me

Salt water cures all wounds. ~ Anonymous

For millennia, people have been traveling for their health. As far back as 4000 BC, the Sumerians built health complexes around hot springs. (Of course, they also performed trepanation--the practice of drilling into people's skulls, so what did they know?) Regency era Brits visited the sea side or journeyed to Bath to take the waters. There's an account in the Bible of the paralytic languishing beside the pool at Bethesda, hoping to be healed when the water was stirred up. When Jesus came along, the man was healed without getting wet, but the point is, there's long been a connection in the human psyche between health and water.

This falls under the category of anecdotal evidence, but I think there's something to it. My general health, lung condition, and well-being were definitely improved by our world cruise. Here are some of the ways:
  1. Salt air acts as a natural antihistamine. I took fewer decongestants while on board than I usually need on land.
  2. Oxygen makes up about 21% of the atmosphere all over the world, but at higher elevations the air pressure is lower, which causes the molecules to spread out, making it feel as if there is less oxygen.
    View from my sister's deck, a nice place to be a slug!
    At sea level, I get the full benefit of that 21%! (This may also explain why I turn into a slug at my sister's place in Keystone, SD. The effective O2 level drops to 17.5% at her house. Even Herkimer, my portable oxygen concentrator isn't as efficient at higher elevations and, according to factory specs, quits working entirely above 10,000 ft.)
  3. I actually lost weight on the ship! My doctor was so surprised (and pleased). I credit controlled portions in the Dining Room, less diet soda and more water, and being much more active! 
  4. On the ship, I started a walking regime, trying to up my step count each day. In January, my average didn't make it to 2000 steps a day. February bumped up to almost 5000, and March was nearly 6000. In April, my average step count was 7900 and now that I'm home, my average for May is still over 6000. I know this isn't the 10K everyone says we should have each day, but for someone who needs supplemental O2 when she walks, this is big stuff! 
  5. My balance is improved. After dancing with the ocean for 94 days, I'm much surer of foot on land.
And the changes weren't just physical. I'm more curious about our world. I seek out news of things happening beyond our borders. I've started playing the piano more--in case I ever run into David Klinkenberg and his violin again! 

Speaking of David Klinkenberg, I've gone back in the blog and updated Day 1-6 with additional photos and memories, including a video tour of stateroom 7009 on the Day 3 post. If you'd like to see those embellishments, you'll want to start with Day 1, and move on to the next newer post. Most of the added material is at the end of the post, but occasionally I think of things I wanted to add within the existing post. Either way, I've used a different color and font for the extras. This may well be nothing more than something for me, to remember the voyage more completely, but there may also be a few things you'll  be interested in too. 

Hope so.